Director of Restaurant Operations

AJ Manente

You haven't experienced true hospitality until you've dined in one of AJ's restaurants. Growing up with strong Italian roots, AJ spent many days gathered around a table with his family, usually. From a young age, he learned there's a simplicity in life that doesn't need to be complicated, which is taking care of people and serving them something delicious. To this day, AJ takes great pleasure in hosting friends and family in his home for dinner and he brings that genuine care into the workplace, sharing that love with his staff and guests.

Working in restaurants his entire life and caring deeply for the guest experience has allowed him to grow within the industry, working his way from bussing to catering and general management. Being in every role has allowed him to be a considerate and supportive leader, striving for development in his employees and the overall success of the team. Teamwork has always been at the forefront of his career, hiring the right people for the job, thoroughly training employees and creating a company culture that cares about the dining experience and inspires their employees to take pride in their work.

In recent years, AJ joined a new hospitality group, Black Swan, and excelled in a new skill set: opening a 6,000 square foot restaurant in the heart of San Diego's most well-known food neighborhood, Little Italy. Included in the entire design and construction process, AJ was essential in creating the building blocks that make Nolita Hall as successful as it is today.

Since then, he has joined Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern and has been a crucial player in their success in recent years. His standards for excellence go beyond the craft and are infused into his staff, from the dishwasher to the maitre d. AJ has honed in on creating an atmosphere that feels welcoming, while servis ng the best food and providing an unparalleled service with dedicated employees. He knows how to make a restaurant successful and how to create a company culture that gives customers the best experience possible.

When he's not gathered around a table at his home serving his family recipes, he's trying to give that same experience and warm Italian hospitality to his guests.

Director of Restaurant Operations

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